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WFT Daily: Working Towards A Common Goal At WR

Antonio Gandy-Golden makes a grab during practice in Richmond, Virginia. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
Antonio Gandy-Golden makes a grab during practice in Richmond, Virginia. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

Training camp is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its second season under head coach Ron Rivera. Stay up to date with "WFT Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

Stop if you've heard this before: there's a lot of talent in Washington's wide receiver corps.

There's good news and bad news that comes with the upgrades at wideout. There's a lot more experienced players with a wide range of skillsets that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke can work with. But with only 53 spots on the active roster, there's not enough room for all 12 of the receivers on the roster.

The players don't need to be reminded of that; they compete with each other every day for a roster spot. But that doesn't mean they have a cut throat mentality about it. In fact, they've spent their time trying to make each other better.

"I feel like we pick up little things off each other," said Antonio Gandy-Golden. "We come together, we talk at the end...about what we need to work on."

There's certainly a lot of experience for players like Gandy-Golden to learn from. Washington players like Adam Humphries, who has been one of the best slot receivers and a reliable target for Fitzpatrick; Cam Sims, a former undrafted player who earned a key role last year; and DeAndre Carter, who has found a way to be a valuable piece as a return specialist.

"We all just bring different tools," Gandy-Golden said. "We bring a lot of different aspects of being a receiver to the football field."

Perhaps the best example of comradery is the relationship between Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. It helps that they played together at Ohio State, but their shared personality trait of doing whatever necessary to win makes them push each other.

"I'm happy to have him here, a guy who is so dynamic, can do a lot of the things with the ball," McLaurin said. "What's really cool to see is -- I haven't really been able to get to see him obviously because we've been on different teams -- but he's developed so much as a receiver running his routes and his hands."

Washington's offense depends upon its receivers to trust that their teammates can run their routes. This is where having Samuel, who played under Rivera and Scott Turner, comes in handy. McLaurin has firsthand experience with that, as they studied together during OTAs.

"What's nice is he's familiar with this offense and this scheme," McLaurin said. "So, he's coming in and he's hit the ground running."

At the same time, the fact that they're always competing remains in the back of their minds. That's something they can't control, Gandy-Golden said, so that can't let it dominate their relationships.

If they build a stronger bond with each other now, it's only going to help make the offense even better once the season begins. And considering the high expectations for the group in 2021, they need to be sure they're working in harmony.

"You still have to make it fun," Gandy-Golden said. "You can't be out here trying to not talk to people. Because ultimately, right now, we all need each other, and in the season, we need each other more."

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